The seats of Britain and the United States sit empty in the United Nations Security Council chamber..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
As a senior in high school, and a current StandWithUs intern, I am often in the position of defending Israel to a myriad of audiences.
Now, only one semester from graduation, I wonder about continuing these activities on the larger stage of university.
The passing of United Nations Resolution 2334 has changed the game for my generation, and we will have to adapt our narrative to accommodate this new development. Yet, we have to keep in mind that no facts or historical evidence have changed as a result of the passing of this resolution.
More than 65 years of international legal recognition of the Jewish homeland has not been deleted by the issuing of yet another anti-Israel resolution by the UN.
The possibility of facing a re-energized and revamped anti-Israel movement is daunting, and it is crucial to properly prepare future leaders. They will see the passing of Resolution 2334 as a “call to action” and advocate for further BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) activities. SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine) and other groups will look to increase their footprint on campuses nationwide.
The anticipation of these developments must be met with vigilance and not complacency.
More than 10 years ago, Natan Sharansky presented the world with the 3D Test of antisemitism in relation to Israel. The three criteria are: Deligitimization (the denial of the Jewish People’s right to self-determination in its own homeland), Demonization and subjecting Israel to a Double Standard.
Antisemitism is camouflaged as a reasonable concern and critique of the Jewish state, and there are few places where this is more evident than at the UN. As long as this continues, the UN will remain an obstacle to achieving a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
The UN General Assembly vote in 1947 approved the UNSCOP partition plan, 33 to 13, and proved the legal case for Israel under international law.
The rebirth of the State of Israel has provided Jews with a safe haven. Jews no longer find themselves dependent on the fluctuating whims of their host countries with nowhere else to go. Jews in Israel, and by proxy those in the Diaspora, have recaptured a self-determination and independence they lost nearly 2,000 years ago. Yet, a committed international fifth column remained determined to rally against the Jews and their ancestral homeland.
After its initial support, the UN began passing a litany of anti-Israel resolutions. In 1975, the General Assembly (UNGA) passed Resolution 3379 equating Zionism with racism. Although the UNGA revoked it in 1991, the promotion of this resolution by the Arab nations represents a pinnacle of hypocrisy.
Many of these nations were and remain some of the worst violators of civil liberties and individual freedoms. This resolution and others like it only serve to delegitimize Israel and weaken the chances for peace.
Just this year, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) adopted a resolution minimizing Jewish historical ties to the Western Wall and Temple Mount complex.
2016 sadly ended with the UNSC passing Resolution 2334, which calls for a halt to “settlements” in Judea and Samaria. The 1949 armistice line referenced in the resolution left Jordan in control of Jerusalem’s Old City with a “judenrein” Jewish Quarter, Jewish synagogues destroyed and ancient Jewish gravestones used to build latrines for Jordanian troops. Israel liberating the Jewish People’s holiest sites and allowing Jews to once again live in the Jewish Quarter is suddenly deemed “illegal” by the UN.
Unfortunately, the damage has been done.
Although there is outrage from both Democratic and Republican US Congressmen, multiple countries and organizations – Jewish and non-Jewish – pro-Israel students will still have to deal with the ramifications of how this resolution will be interpreted and acted upon by anti-Israel forces. We will have to start a new conversation.
I call on my generation to rise up to the challenge of a reinvigorated foe spewing hate-filled propaganda.
Our generation must recruit allies for State of Israel and defend it against its many enemies.
The Jewish people have an ancient connection to the land of Israel and are the only nation to ever have Jerusalem as its capital city. This New Year, the new generation of advocates for Israel must strengthen their resolve to actively meet the ongoing challenges to our beloved ancestral homeland.
The author is a senior at Akiva Hebrew Day School in Detroit, Michigan, and the 2016-17 StandWithUs High School Intern.